Today Michele Hart is sharing an excerpt from her sci-fi thriller. Enjoy!
Synopsis: Jon Paige discovers his employer is developing illicit mind-control techniques. He quickly learns how to hijack the system and breaks down his beautiful assistant’s persistent walls. Will Holly forgive him for sneaking into her mind, if she ever learns of it?
Holly Maddox is determined not to dip her pen in the company ink, a policy that’s served her well…until Jon comes along. He steals her mind when he’s in the room, weakens her fortitude with every flash of his flirty eyes and secretive smile. How will she keep herself from falling in love with her boss when he melts her impulse control?
When Jon and Holly decide to sabotage the brain-washing experiments, they learn they’re up against a greater power than they’d bargained for. Doing the right thing risks lives. Will the truth of their beginnings wreck their sizzling affair?
Mind-Blown is available at Bookstrand:http://www.BookStrand.com/mind-blown
“Stay quiet, Holly,” Jon told her, pressing the cell phone headset deeper into his ear, despite the latex chimp mask he wore.
Jon went to the door, cut the light, leaned to the window overlooking the hallway, and cracked the mini-blinds. A slide to the left, and he spotted Dr. Ramirez quietly pacing down the hallway, carrying in her hands the stack of books and papers Holly had mentioned. Headed toward her lab at the end of the hall, the doctor passed his room unexplored and him undiscovered.
Quietly engaging the doorknob lock below a keyed dead-bolt and drawing the flashlight from his belt, he turned back to the computer monitor and sat, hot blood coursing through his veins as the computer animation showed files flying into folders. Mapping his escape route in his head, he noticed how hot it was in the chimpanzee mask. It began to feel like his head was in a sauna.
Just when the file copying finished, and Jon snatched the flash drive from the port, the clink of keys hitting the metal doorknob ripped through the room, sending a sharper shockwave of adrenalin shooting through his body. His gaze snapped to the door.
Jon hit the power button on the computer, shutting it down, then he dove for the covered chair of the enormous mind-control machine. He crawled under the dust cover and into the seat, unseen, and quickly shut his flashlight off.
Through heat-dispersal holes in the plastic cover, he watched the doctor enter the room and turn on the lights, pushing the door all the way open and leaving her keys hanging from the doorknob. The door stop didn’t catch the latch, and the door closed anyway. She didn’t seem bothered to have found the room locked when he’d found it unlocked, or she hadn’t noticed. A notebook in hand and appearing distracted with work, she made a beeline past the mind-control machine for the computer that controlled it stationed in the back of the room, and she booted up the machine.
Patient at first, Jon watched as she typed into the system some unseen information, and he wondered what mind-control stunt the center would pull next. Considering the majority of the center’s funds came from pharmaceutical companies, he didn’t want to imagine what connection these brain-washing experiments had to their funders.
He had too much time to think. He hadn’t anticipated feeling a flicker of guilt about his attempt to influence Holly into his arms, but now, watching the granddaughter of Dr. Frankenstein plot her next breach of someone’s mind, he felt the violation of Holly’s will it really was. It was no big guess she’d be livid if she learned of it, but there was no way to back out now. He’d already slipped pictures of himself into her slideshow file, piggybacking the mind-tampering methods the sleep center employed. Would he be able to forgive himself when he held Holly in his arms?
Yep, probably so.
Of course, a really good guy would wait Dr. Ramirez out until the woman left the room, and he’d delete the pictures he’d planted. Jon hadn’t yet decided just how good a guy he wanted to be.
The shriek of a police siren in close proximity blaring, then silencing came blasting through his headset too loudly, nearly deafening him. Jon spotted Dr. Ramirez spin around in her seat, her eyes narrowed on the covered chair She’d caught his startled jerk and heard the siren. The brain-washing machine in which he sat lay between her and the door.
Jon was caught. So was Holly providing him with cover in the parking lot. He heard her whisper in his ear-piece, “Damn.”
Through the pin-prick holes in the chair’s dust cover, he watched Dr. Ramirez, her eyes wide with fright over a stranger hiding in the room and so close to her. She swept her space for a weapon.
“Ya need any help, little lady?” Jon picked up from a male voice with a rough Southern drawl in his headset. The drop of Dr. Ramirez’s jaw said she clearly heard the voices coming from the chair.
“No, officer,” Holly’s stressed voice replied, “I just finished changing my tire, and I’ll be on my way.”
Ramirez snatched the leg of one of the nearby medical carts, dumping its electronics, and she brandished the cart as a weapon. The cart shook in her hands.
“You don’t look like ya got yourself dirty doing it, sweetheart,” the male voice replied. “Ya sure you aren’t out here working this block?”
The police were about to arrest Holly for prostitution. How would Jon get out of this room?
Dr. Ramirez brought the light-weight medical cart crashing down onto the chair, barely missing Jon in her assault. When she reared back for another swing, Jon caught Holly’s denial, “No, officer! I’m just trying to get home from working night shift at Scrappy Joe’s. My house is just down the block. My husband’s on his way.”
“Scrappy Joe’s closed two hours ago.”
Jon ducked just in time to avoid the second blow, still unseen under the dust cover, though his movement gave him away. The cart crashed into machinery behind him, another close miss. It was time to take action.
Jon scampered out from under the cover, revealing himself in the chimp mask. He let out a terrifying chimp scream, waving his arms high in the air to frighten the doctor more, and it worked. She backed up all the way to the wall, her hands held up before her in defense, having lost her weapon in her second swing. Her eyes were alive with the shock of seeing her opponent. She couldn’t have expected a man-sized chimpanzee.
Taking advantage of her fright, Jon snatched the door open, bolted over the threshold, and slammed the door of the room shut. Then he pulled the key from the doorknob lock, shoved it into the deadbolt and spun it, locking a terrified Dr. Ramirez in the telephoneless room.
Fisting the keys, he pressed the headset deeper into his ear to hear the police officer giving Holly a disbelieving bellow of laughter. “What’re you selling tonight, little lady? Ya showin’ alota skin at work.”
Harking back to his days on the football field, Jon ran as hard as he could down the science center’s main hallway, pumping his arms double-time to the quickened sound of Holly’s anxious breath in his ear. This was going to hurt. He hadn’t been on a run this hard since the night of the accident. Ignoring the cameras recording his visit, he still needed to make it past two security guards and run a long stretch of distance to save Holly from arrest.
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